Pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam. War refugees later popularized it in the rest of Vietnam and the world. Because pho's origins are poorly documented,there is significant disagreement over the cultural influences that led to its development in Vietnam, as well as the etymology of the word itself.
The Hanoi and Saigon styles of pho differ by noodle width, sweetness of broth, and choice of herbs. A related beef noodle soup, bún bò Huế, is associated with Huế in central Vietnam.
Pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam, apparently southeast of Hanoi in Nam Định Province, then a substantial textile market. The traditional home of pho is reputed to be the villages of Vân Cù and Dao Cù (or Giao Cù) in Đông Xuân commune, Nam Trực District, Nam Định Province. According to villagers, pho was eaten in Vân Cù long before the French colonial period when it was popularized.
Pho was originally sold at dawn and dusk by roaming street vendors, who shouldered mobile kitchens on carrying poles (gánh phở). From the pole hung two wooden cabinets, one housing a cauldron over a wood fire, the other storing noodles, spices, cookware, and space to prepare a bowl of pho. Pho vendors kept their heads warm with distinctive, disheveled felt hats called mũ phở.
Hanoi's first two fixed pho stands were a Vietnamese-owned Cát Tường on Cầu Gỗ Street and a Chinese-owned stand in front of Bờ Hồ tram stop. They were joined in 1918 by two more on Quạt Row and Đồng Row. Around 1925, a Vân Cù villager named Vạn opened the first "Nam Định style" pho stand in Hanoi. Gánh phở declined in number around 1936–1946 in favor of stationary eateries.
|Phở Bò [Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup]|
2 large white onions - chopped into quarters
1 tablespoon of vegetable or peanut oil
5 lbs of beef bones
[choose ones with a bit of meat on them]
1 small knob of ginger - chopped
2 medium daikon [white radish]
chopped into quarters
1 small cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods - whole
4 cloves - whole
1 Star Anise
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
Phở noodles [broad rice noodle]
soaked in hot water
until soft and drained
Finely sliced scallions
Chopped coriander leaf
Finely sliced beef sirloin
Nước mắm [Fish Sauce]
Fry onions in oil until lightly browned. Remove and drain. Rinse the beef bones, place in a stockpot, cover with cold water, and bring slowly to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. For a clear broth skim off foam. After this initial cooking, add cooked onions, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil again and gently simmer the stock, partially covered, for a minimum of 6 hours but up to 12 hours if you can, skimming regularly. If necessary, add more water to keep the bones covered. Strain stock to remove the vegetable and spices and discard them. Return the broth to the stove to keep it boiling hot.
In a large soup bowl, place a handful of cooled Phở noodles, top with thinly sliced raw beef, and ladle on generous amounts of steaming hot broth, which will cook the raw beef. Garnish with sliced onions, scallions and coriander, and serve immediately.
Place condiments on a large serving plate. It's not necessary to add any of the condiments to the soup, but adding a few basil leaves, a squeeze of lime, and some bean sprouts, is customary. Traditionally, the dish is prepared using fatty meats, but this is not a necessity. Some other traditional serving ingredients include beef tendon, beef shank, beef tripe and meatballs. The fish sauce, hot sauce, and hoisin sauce, can either be added directly into the soup or placed in a small bowl for dipping the meat and noodles. Some take small bites of very hot chili peppers while eating the soup to spice up the meal. Proceed with caution! And enjoy!
|Phở Gà [Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup]|
Phở noodles [broad rice noodle]
1 small to medium chicken (whole)
12 cups chicken broth
3-4 slices of fresh ginger (whole)
1 medium brown onion, peeled
1 tbsp of salt or more (to taste)
Fish sauce, to taste
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. peppercorns
3 whole star anise
1-2 dried cardamom
1/2 stick cinnamon
3 whole cloves
Diced cilantro and green onion
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
Fresh bean sprouts
Thinly sliced brown or white onion [several pieces per serving]
Hoisin Sauce [1 tsp per serving, or to taste]
Lime [squeezed into broth before eating
Jalapeños, serranos, or other chilli peppers
Sriracha or similar chilli sauce
Additional fish sauce
|From The Well Chick Project|
Faux Phở Noodles - Gluten-free
brown rice noodles
or Zuccini noodles
6 star anise pods
5 whole cloves
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 green cardamom pod
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 large cinnamon stick
1 large onion peeled and quartered
1 piece fresh ginger 3-inches
3 quarts water
1 1/2 large leeks tough ends cut away, halved lengthwise, cleaned and cut in thick slices
2 medium turnips peeled and cut in wedges
3 large carrots peeled and sliced thick
4 dried shitake mushrooms [can substitute 2 ounces fresh mushroom stems]
1 head garlic cut in half
2 stalks lemongrass trimmed, smashed with a knife, and sliced
salt to taste
1 Tbsp low-sodium miso Eden's Shiro brand is a great low-sodium option
1 tbsp coconut sugar may use raw brown or other sugar, as available
1-2 Tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam), to taste [optional; vegans can omit or sub soy sauce]
Fresh Vegetables, Tofu, & Garni:
4 large zucchini [optional; may substitute with cooked rice noodles]
8 cups vegetables of choice, lightly cooked [The Well Chick Project veggie recommendation: broccoli florets, sliced medallion carrots, canned/whole straw mushrooms]
pan-fried tofu slices
lime slices [for garnish]
hoisin sauce [for garnish]
Sriracha sauce [for garnish]
bean sprouts [for garnish]
Spices: In a pan over medium-low heat, toast the star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, cardamom pod, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Put the spices in a spice bag, or tea leaf bag, and set aside. Broth: Scorch the onion and ginger in a pan over medium-high heat. Turn the pieces until they are scorched black in places on all sides. Slice the ginger lengthwise. Combine the scorched onion and ginger with the water, leeks, turnips, carrots, mushroom stems (or dried shiitakes), garlic, lemongrass, miso, salt to taste and 1 tablespoon coconut sugar in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the spice bag.
COOKING METHOD A. If using Wonderbag: Add the fish sauce, if using. Immediately transfer the pot to the Wonderbag, and leave to cook overnight, or 8 hours. [The longer the broth slow cooks, the more intense the flavor.]
COOKING METHOD B. If using traditional stovetop method: Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the fish sauce, if using, and simmer for another hour [2 hours total, with or without the fish sauce.]
Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. [Discard the broth vegetables, or save for some other use.] Taste and adjust salt and sugar. If serving immediately, ladle the hot broth over bowls filled with zuccini noodles or gluten-free brown rice noodles, fried tofu and vegetables. Allow diners to add their own garni.
If serving with zuccini noodles, select the appropriate blade for your spiral slicer, and process the zucchini noodles accordingly. Boil briefly for 3 or so minutes, according to how al dente you like your veggie pasta. Do not overcook. [Remember that in the end they will be served in a hot broth that will continue to simmer them.] Drain and divide equally among bowls. [If serving with white or brown rice noodles, cook according to package directions and divide equally among bowls.] Prepare vegetables of choice. If using raw broccoli and carrot slices, blanch for 1 minute in boiling water and rinse with cool water. If using canned whole straw mushrooms, rinse well. Rinse and drain bean sprouts. Divide equal amounts among bowls. Divide tofu slices equally among bowls. Allow each diner to season their bowl of pho to taste with lime wedges, Sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce. Enjoy!
[The Well Chick Project Recommendation: If you're avoiding sugar, feel free to experiment with whatever sugar substitute you feel comfortable. Or, omit altogether.]
Text Credits: Wikipedia || WikiCookbook || WikiCookbook|| TheWellChickProject || Image Credits: WikiCommons || Jeanette's Healthy Living